At the University of Maine School of Law, students have many opportunities to learn through hands-on experience working with real clients, cases, and problems. Each of our clinic and externship programs provides students intensive instruction and mentoring by supervisors who are both experienced practitioners and dedicated teachers. Students learn and apply practical skills in litigation, transactional, and alternative dispute resolution settings.
The Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, established in 1969, is one of the nation’s oldest continuously-operating law school clinical programs and a highly-respected provider of legal services. CLAC's clinical programs give third-year law students opportunities to provide direct representation to low-income clients. Students are admitted to practice in court as "student attorneys" and are directly responsible for all aspects of their cases. Maine Law offers three separate clinical courses through CLAC: General Practice Clinic, Juvenile Justice Clinic, Prisoner Assistance Clinic, and Refugee and Human Rights Clinic. All students enrolled in these clinics also participate in the Domestic Violence Program.
Students interested in intellectual property law can develop their knowledge and skills in the Intellectual Property Law Clinic, which is offered through Maine Law's Center for Law and Innovation. Established by the Maine Legislature in 1999, the Center provides leading-edge educational opportunities in intellectual property law, e-commerce, technology transfer, and other technology-related fields. Through its service unit, the Maine Patent Program, the Center offers technology transfer and patent assistance to scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs.
Maine Law also provides students opportunities to work in a variety of advocacy, policy, regulatory, enforcement and transactional settings around the state through its varied and diverse Externship Program. Established in 1997, the program provides students opportunities to design and pursue their individual goals, work closely under the supervision of practicing attorneys, and gain in-depth legal experience. Placements include government agencies, legal services providers, nonprofit organizations, and judicial chambers.
Other courses in Maine Law's curriculum enable students to develop skills in actual and simulated settings. Students provide mediation services to the public through Maine Law’s Mediation Practicum. A range of courses in trial advocacy, appellate advocacy, estate planning, business planning, and the pretrial process ensures that our students graduate with the essential skills they need to work in private practice, public service, policy development, and a variety of other settings.
"The impact of our clinical education program is remarkable, providing crucial assistance to clients in need, service to the greater community, and a rewarding learning experience for Maine Law students. This robust combination of theory and practice is pivotal in our program of legal education at Maine Law."